Helping Works

Bald is beautiful: Meet a vulture at Birds of Prey

Endangered lappet-faced vulture.
Endangered lappet-faced vulture. Munir Virani

Labor Day weekend marks the annual worldwide celebration of International Vulture Awareness Day, which aims to create awareness of the plight of all vulture species and to highlight the work done by researchers who monitor populations and implement measures to conserve vultures and their habitats.

Although many (but not all) consider the birds less-than-lovely, vultures help keep ecosystems free of disease and pests. Alas, vulture populations around the world have declined by 80 percent or more in some regions due to environmental contaminants, poisoning and shooting. The Peregrine Fund works extensively to protect vulture species in Asia, Africa and South America, and even breeds the endangered California condor at its home in Boise.

The Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey is inviting the public to celebrate the vulture on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The center is located at 5668 W. Flying Hawk Lane in Boise.

Saturday events

Admission is free to anyone without hair or wearing a bald cap, and a fun scavenger hunt full of vulture facts and activities for the whole family will take place all day.

Bird presentations: 10:30 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m.

Archives of falconry: Tours at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Lucy the turkey vulture: Get up close and personal, and learn about her unique qualities. 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

“Jose El Condor,” mascot: Appearance and photo opportunities. 1 p.m.

California condor tapestry: The debut of the hand-woven piece, and a meet and greet with Grand Canyon Artist in Residence Lyn Hart. 3 p.m.

Condor presentation: The Peregrine Fund’s propagation specialist Marti Jenkins on how the organization hatches and raises critically endangered condors. 3:30 p.m.